Sanford House

03 May 2004 questionsarchive
A question put forward to the Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) in relation to Sanford House.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, representing the Minister for Environment and Conservation, a question about Sanford House.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The conflict between heritage and conservation values, in the light of rising property values, has become a challenge for the community in relation to a number of historic homes, particularly in the city of Adelaide. On 23 March 2004 I asked a series of questions seeking the advice of the government as to what action it was taking. I was also curious as to why the Adelaide City Council was coming in for criticism when its heritage restoration fund is four times that of the state government’s. On 4 April The Sunday Mail carried a story about Sanford House, the former home of notable South Australian scientists and Nobel Laureates William Henry Bragg and William Laurence Bragg.

The building is currently in the ownership of the Public Schools Club, which had voted to sell it due to financial difficulties. The article reported that Adelaide-born astronaut Andy Thomas wrote to the minister urging the government to move to protect it; and, lo and behold, on 22 April the minister announced that Sanford House has been given interim heritage listing. A cynic might say that the high profile nature of one of this building’s supporters means that, among Adelaide’s many threatened or recently demolished gracious structures, this one now rates among having the most likely rate of survival.

However, in relation to heritage sites, three days prior to this The Advertiser reported that funds which had been approved by the previous Liberal government for historic South Australian built heritage sites have been cut. These included a cut in funding to Fort Glanville at Semaphore Park from $75 000 to $25 000 per annum; $30 000 for funding for the Marble Hill ruin has been axed; and funding for the Adelaide Gaol at Thebarton has also been cut. My questions are:

1. Did the minister apply for interim heritage listing of Sanford House and, if not, who did?

2. Was the owner of the building (the Public Schools Club) consulted and, if not, why not?

3. Was the National Trust consulted and, if not, why not?

4. Why has the government not taken similar action to prevent the demolition of Edge Hill at North Adelaide, 224-225 East Terrace and 47 to 53 Wellington Square?

5. If the application for heritage listing is successful, will the government compensate the Public Schools Club for the loss of market value of the property as a result of its listing?

6. When will the government start providing funding for heritage which is commensurate with funding provided by the Adelaide City Council?

7. Where have the funds that were earmarked for Fort Glanville, the Marble Hill ruins and the Adelaide Gaol gone?

8. When was heritage last discussed in cabinet?

The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): I will refer all of those questions to the Minister for Environment and Conservation in another place and bring back a reply.



Thursday 24 June 2004

In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (3 May).

The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS: The Minister for Environment and Conservation has been advised:

1. The Minister for Environment and Conservation did not apply for the interim heritage listing of Sanford House. Anyone can nominate a place for inclusion in the State Heritage Register. The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH) routinely protects the privacy of those who nominate a place for the Register as the issue is whether the State Heritage Authority judges the place to meet the criteria for listing, not who nominates it.

2. The Public Schools Club was visited by a DEH officer on Thursday 25 March 2004 and staff of the Club were informed that the property was being assessed, prior to its consideration by the State Heritage Authority on 1 April 2004.

3. The National Trust was not formally consulted prior to the consideration of the matter by the State Heritage Authority on 1 April 2004, as the Trust has no legal role to play in the listing process. However, the Director of the National Trust of South Australia is a Deputy Member of the Authority and received the Agenda Papers prior to the 1 April meeting.

4. Sanford House was Provisionally entered in the State Heritage Register under section 17(2) (b) of the Heritage Act 1993, due to the possibility of it fulfilling the criteria under section 16 of the Act. The house at 47-53 Wellington Square was previously Provisionally entered in the Register under section 17(2) (b), but following a thorough assessment the Authority later removed the Provisional Entry as it did not meet the criteria for entry into the Register. In the case of Edge Hill and 224-225 East Terrace, neither of those places was regarded as likely to meet the criteria and hence neither was Provisionally entered by the Authority.

5. The government does not compensate owners of places entered in the State Heritage Register for a perceived loss of market value of their properties. However, owners of State Heritage Places are eligible for funding from the State Heritage Fund to assist in the care and conservation of those places.

6. The respective roles of the Adelaide City Council and the Government are quite different in terms of heritage matters.

Allocation of available resources reflects those differences. For example, the Government devotes significant resources to assist in the provision of a heritage advisory service to more than 20 councils and to the development of a heritage policy framework. This is not part of the role of any individual council. By contrast, the Adelaide City Council has committed significant resources to a grants program. The Government acknowledges the importance of that commitment to heritage conservation in the City of Adelaide.

7. Fort Glanville

Maintenance of the Fort and protection of its heritage values is managed and funded by DEH.

Marble Hill

In 2002-03 DEH provided funding of $80 000 as a one-off amount towards high priority maintenance and risk management works. In addition, ongoing maintenance of the surrounding area is also provided by DEH.

Adelaide Gaol

DEH continues to manage the Adelaide Goal, which attracts some commercial revenue. However, following the decision of a lessee, for a portion of the Gaol, not to continue with their lease this funding has reduced.

8. As the member is aware, Cabinet issues remain confidential.